Alesandra closes the door and leans her back against it in exhaustion, breathing a sigh. Chef was challenging tonight. She pauses for a moment with her eyes closed and drops her bag on the floor. Graduation. This won’t last forever. Just a couple more months before graduation. After having taken a moment to put things in perspective, she begins sifting through the mail. Notices. Junk. Junk. Then she comes to an envelope with Tish’s handwriting, but it’s from a financing company. Alesandra gives a chuckle and tears the envelope open. Apparently Tish has taken it upon herself to research some financing options for the purchase of the building. As she pulls the brochure from the envelope she realizes her thoughts are correct. Attempting to buy into this building seems too much of a financial responsibility for someone in culinary school and with limited resources. Alesandra isn’t even certain that she’ll want to remain a tenant once she graduates. She tosses the mail on the counter and walks toward the living room when a thud and yelling startle her. There seems commotion coming from the neighbors. At first she dismisses the noise, but curiosity gets the best of her and she leans toward the wall to listen….
“I can’t believe you’ve done this again! What are you trying to do, Lissa?!?! Need I remind you of why we moved in the first place?” Maria is yelling like never before. Valissa has skipped school today. The truancy office has left one of those recorded messages. This child is so bold she didn’t even bother to come home normal hours, staying out well past nightfall.
“Uhh, can you remember how many drinks you had? Can you remember screwing up daddy’s business dinner? Can you say ‘divorce?’ YOU are the reason we had to move!” Valissa moves from the door that she just slammed and walks toward her room.
“You stand right there until I’m finished talking to you, Lissa.” Maria places her hand over her forehead and sighs, trying to calm herself. “Where were you? Who were you with?”
Valissa stands with folded arms, trying to decide if she’s going to respond to her or not.
Maria looks exasperated. She stares at her in awe. “Don’t think you’re gonna stand there and pretend that you don’t hear what I’m asking you!”
“I was with my friends, ok!” Valissa yells something just to get Maria to shut up.
“I can’t believe you! I mean, we move to get to a place where we both can start over. You had a fresh start here, Lissa. Instead of making some better friends, you find company with the same element that was the reason we moved in the first place!”
“PART of the reason, Maria.” Valissa rolls her eyes and shakes her head mumbling, “ We moved because daddy put your drunk ass out.” Evidence that what she thought she had mumbled under her breath was heard came with heat lighting what felt like fire across her face from her mother’s back hand. She stood motionless. “Did that make you feel better?”
Maria’s words are met with yet another slap to her face from her mother’s palm. “Now go have a drink and blame somebody else.” Valissa scowls at her and walks to her room.
Maria stands with a forlorn countenance, a woman defeated by her own actions. Trying to drown her mistakes and feelings in alcohol. Tears stream down her face. Yet in all her pain and after having been confronted by the truth, she goes to the cabinet and pours herself a drink.